Smurfpunx @ Gele Limonade

Filed under: Gele Limonade, Aalst — Tags: , , , , — smurfpunx @ 18:11

At a certain timepoint, the collective wanted to explore the possibilities/ opportunities of becoming an official ‘not-for-profit’ association. Natasja D. did all the paperwork for that. One of us (Michel DC) was also member of a similar association, called ‘De Vrije Meningsuiting’ (‘The Free Speech’). Those people (old hippies – ha) were running the pub/café ‘De Gele Limonade’ (‘The Yellow Limonade’) – located in the same street as Netwerk – that they operated in an alternative/a-commercial manner: drinks a lot cheaper than other places and profits used for rent and ‘good causes’; nobody was making a living of it. It was more like a meeting-place for people who like alternative music (not just HC/punk) and who’re more or less politically aware (e.g. one evening it was a refuge for people who egged the leader of the ‘Vlaams Blok’ – an extreme right party with racist program – and were attacked by his supporters). Also the local free radio ‘Radio Katanga’  (Mokka had a weekly show there at some timepoint) was operating from the building, on  one of the floors above the pub. The people of de ‘Vrije’ were over 30 (married with kids) and they wanted to pass on the torch to younger people so Michel proposed that we would do that. Closure would’ve meant commercialisation, loss of the radio-station, etc. Starting Dec 31st 1988 we began trying to run the pub with most of the Smurfpunx-people (we took turns, in ‘couples’ on friday- and saturday-evenings). The intention was to also organise small concerts, lectures, poetry-evenings (e.g. the British black feminist poetess Lenny St. Luce who lives in Amsterdam), exhibitions (At some timepoint a guy who used to be in the ‘Apostles’ was supposed to come over for an exhibition-tour of his artwork – paintings, etchings, lithos.). There was also room for meetings, sleeping-places and rehearsals. Plans for a little distribution/ shop never happened… We learned how to handle things (rent – 30000 BeF or € 750 per month, organisation, ordering, etc.) and in the spring of 1989 (after a 3 month trial-period), we cleaned the whole building, and reconstructed/ painted/ redecorated the pub for a ‘grand’ re-opening on April 7th…


At some point after my departure from Smurfpunx I got briefly involved with this exhibition-tour of the Apostles bloke. I wanted to help out Anderz Nielsen [guitarist of ‘Misanthropic Charity’ and bass for ‘Electric Deads’ & ‘President Fetch’, and concert-promoter at Copenhagen’s Ungdomshuset] because I met these guys from the ‘Apostles’ when I visited him in 1987 and they ended up asking me later on to organize exhibitions and concerts in Belgium. It was an outstanding commitment and a friendly service to Anderz who had welcomed me a few times in his flat in Copenhagen. The artwork were mainly charcoal-drawings if I can remember well, and not bad work either: dark and gothic-anarcho, but well…the artist’s and the music genre’s house-style I guess. (smile) Such an expo would’ve been something else for a change. But for some reason or another (something to do with the availability of the space [Brob: Probably because there were only people at the Gele Limonade during weekend-evenings.] and/or abolishment of a concert at Netwerk that could have been combined with this), it got cancelled. The funny thing was that the artist, his girlfriend and one other bloke eventually showed up in Gent despite the cancellation. See, as I told already on this blog, the main ways of communication back then were telephone and ‘classical’ post. They had no phone and it turned out that they never got the letter announcing the cancellation either because the address that they’d given was a squat which they had abandoned. Anarchy I guess… (smile) Did they had an improvised expo in a squat in Gent instead? I don’t remember. I was not in the squatting-scene. They did continue to another country (Holland, Germany?) though.


Usually whenever I see the words ‘The Apostles’ in it I groan, start to gnash my teeth and then sit in a dark corner to mutter vengeful curses at the world. However, this is a little more interesting. No, the event doesn’t apply to me – but I know what happened. During 1987 and 1988 the bassist / guitarist / leader of ‘The Apostles’, Dave Fanning, was invited over to Germany [Jospeh Raimond: The ‘Apostles’ show was in Nürnberg. It was great.] for 2 weeks to display his art in a private gallery there. This was organised by Joe Raimond of ‘Doc Wör Mirran’ [Brob: concept of combining music, graphic art, painting, sculpture, poetry and just about every other medium of art]. As I understand it, the show was such a success that he then took his paintings, drawings and collages, etc. to other ‘punk’ events, alternative galleries, etc. to display them there. I believe he went to Belgium because he had a Belgian girlfriend, Sally Vogel (?, not certain about the surname) at the time and she may have assisted.

Andy Martin, ‘The Apostles’/ ‘Unit’


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